School Board Approves Health & Safety Plan

School Board Approves Health & Safety Plan
Posted on 07/30/2020
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At a special meeting of the South Park School District Board of Directors on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, district administrators presented the district's health and safety plan and the educational vision for the 2020-2021 school year. The Board of Directors approved the health and safety plan and a hybrid model of re-opening school. In a hybrid model, which reduces capacity in our buildings and maximizes physical distancing, students would be assigned to either Group A or Group B and report to school on designated days.

Students with last names beginning with A-L will be assigned to Hybrid Group A. Students with last names beginning with M-Z will be assigned to Hybrid Group B. To more effectively balance class sizes or bus capacity or for another reason, some students may be assigned a hybrid group that does not correspond to the last name breakdown. In those instances, the impacted families will be directly contacted by the district.

Students assigned to Hybrid Group A will attend school in-person on Mondays and Wednesdays during a five-day school week.

Students assigned to Hybrid Group B will attend school in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays during a five-day school week.

All students will work at home on Fridays during a five-day school week.

The hybrid week schedule will be adjusted for weeks with scheduled holidays, staff professional development days, in-service/clerical days or Act 80 days. The hybrid schedule generally will not be adjusted mid-week in the event of an unannounced or emergency school closure.

If siblings in the same household are assigned to different hybrid groups because of different last names, the parent/guardian may request the same group for each child by completing an online form. If a request is made, the students in the same household only will be assigned to the same group as the oldest sibling. The deadline to complete this form is Thursday, August 6 at noon.

In an effort to maximize instructional time when students are physically in the classroom, teachers will prioritize content and instruction most suitable for an in-person learning environment. During at-school days, students will be led by teachers in new learning experiences and instruction and prepared for meaningful, independent learning assignments and activities which will take place during students’ scheduled at-home days.

On scheduled at-home days, students will complete independent learning assignments and activities which build upon and advance instruction received during at-school days. The district does not expect teachers to regularly connect with students during at-home days because teachers will need to focus on maximizing instructional time with the group of students who are physically at school at that time. Students and families may contact classroom teachers as outlined by the teacher at the start of the academic year.

On Fridays during five-day school weeks, all students will engage in independent learning assignments and activities. Teachers will be available to connect either with individual students or small groups of students when needed as no students will be in the classroom on those days. Teacher office hours will be communicated with students and families at the start of the school year.

For those families who may not feel comfortable sending students back to the classroom, we will provide them with the option to enroll in the South Park Cyber Academy, a 100% cyber education opportunity.

These educational options and phases are outlined in greater detail in our Forward framework which can be viewed by clicking here. We encourage you to review this framework for the new school year as you make a decision that is best for your child.

The South Park School District Board of Directors also approved a revised 2020-2021 school year calendar which allows for additional staff professional development before the year begins. The first day of school will now be on Monday, August 31. Under a hybrid model, the first day of school for Hybrid Group A would be Monday, August 31. The first day of school for Hybrid Group B would be Tuesday, September 1. The revised 2020-2021 school year calendar can be viewed by clicking here.

We know this decision is difficult for our families and staff. Any reopening decision would have created unique challenges when it comes to the individual concerns and needs of our families and staff. However, we believe a hybrid model of reopening best adheres to the guidance we have received from local, state, and national health agencies. 

We also must recognize the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is impossible to predict what, if anything, will change in our community and region from late-July to late-August. Therefore, this reopening decision may change in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. The Superintendent, upon reviewing data-driven information about the transmission of COVID-19 in our community and the possible future release of guidance and directives from local, state and federal health agencies, may decide to modify the delivery of instruction before the first day of school. The Superintendent may also change the delivery of instruction at any point in the 2020-2021 school year in the interest of the health and safety of South Park School District students and staff.

Families wishing to enroll their children in the South Park Cyber Academy are asked to complete this initial enrollment form by Wednesday, August 5 at 3 p.m.

Students may transition to the South Park Cyber Academy during the school year at any point in time.

Students enrolled in the South Park Cyber Academy may enroll in the Flex Learning Track (delivered via a total reopen, hybrid model or 100% remote learning) at the start of the second semester.

Parents/guardians whose children would be assigned to different hybrid groups based on last name may complete this online form by Thursday, August 6 at noon to request that all siblings share the same hybrid group as the oldest sibling.

Families who have not completed the transportation form for the 2020-2021 school year may click here to access it. The deadline is Thursday, July 30 at noon.

After reviewing our Forward framework, we recognize that families may still have additional questions. Families can submit general questions by clicking here by Friday, July 31 at noon. We’ll work to answer those questions in a public document on Monday, August 3, prior to the deadline to enroll in the South Park Cyber Academy. Questions specifically regarding your child should be directed to your building principal.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these weeks of preparation for the start of a new school year. We will inform you of updated procedures and changes as we move Forward.

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